Free Special Notice to Counsel with cases before Judge David C. Norton - South Carolina


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SPECIAL NOTICE TO COUNSEL
WITH CASES BEFORE JUDGE DAVID C. NORTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Please carefully review the following instructions which relate to problems which frequently arise regarding scheduling orders and related litigation management issues.

COURTESY COPIES
Unless specifically requested, you should not send a "courtesy copy" of any filed document to Judge Norton's chambers. The court is automatically provided with the copy when the original document is filed with the Clerk's Office. If it is necessary to file a document in another courthouse and if time is critical, you should first call chambers to determine if Judge Norton would like a copy sent directly to chambers.

CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN COUNSEL
Attorneys frequently copy the court on correspondence between counsel. This is seldom appropriate. Unless correspondence is directly related to a pending motion, there is no reason to copy the court. If it relates to a pending motion and is relevant to issues before the court, the correspondence should be filed as an exhibit. If it merely relates to an anticipated motion (usually a discovery dispute), it would be more appropriate simply to hold such correspondence and to attach it as an exhibit if a motion becomes necessary.

EXTENSION OF DEADLINES
The deadlines in scheduling orders issued by this court are established after review of the parties' Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) reports and interrogatory responses with careful consideration to the nature of the case and the times requested for discovery. For this reason, extensions should seldom be necessary. If, however, it becomes necessary to seek an extension, you may submit a letter or motion addressing the following:
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Date of the current deadline; Whether the deadline has been extended before; The number of additional days requested, and proposed new deadline; Whether the extension would affect other deadlines; and If opposing counsel agrees to or opposes the extension.



Do not wait until the last day before the deadline to request an extension. Do not call chambers

to determine if the extension has been granted. You may, however, call the docket clerk in the Clerk's Office. Absent extraordinary circumstances, requests should be made sufficiently in advance to allow you to receive a response before the deadline passes. See Local Civil Rule 6.01 and 6.02.

FACSIMILE USAGE
The District of South Carolina does not allow for documents to be filed by facsimile and Judge Norton discourages the use of facsimile transmissions to chambers. Under certain compelling circumstances, however, counsel may correspond with the court by facsimile. The following guidelines apply:
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Facsimile should not be used unless a member of chambers staff has requested or approved the use of facsimile; Facsimile should not be used unless hand delivery is impractical and the court needs to have the information more quickly than could be accomplished by regular mail; Facsimile is not a substitute for filing any document required to be filed; Do not send chambers a hard copy of documents sent by facsimile unless specifically requested.

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AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS
This is the earliest deadline for a very important reason: to allow discovery to address all issues and all potential parties. Late requests to amend are, therefore, strongly discouraged. This is especially true if the amendment would add a party. Any request to amend after the scheduling order deadline should include an explanation of why the amendment could not have been sought earlier. Parties who delay seeking to amend until late in the litigation, especially as to known potential parties, risk denial of their motions.

FILING OF CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL
The parties' attention is specifically directed to Local Civil Rule 5.03 regarding the filing of confidential material.

WEB SITE
The District of South Carolina maintains a web site with various forms and resources at:

www.scd.uscourts.gov